Hotel Travel

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Because a hotel is a strange new environment for your dog, it can cause him to become anxious, and even behave differently than he would at home. It is important to reassure him, make him feel comfortable there, and, of course, to be courteous to the other guests staying there. How your dog behaves will help determine whether the manager of that property continues a pet-friendly policy so consider yourself a pet ambassador!

  • When you check in, ask if the hotel has any special amenities for dogs or whether there are any activities nearby you and your dog can enjoy together. You might be surprised to learn, for example, that a restaurant down the street has an outdoor patio where dogs are welcome. Or perhaps the hotel has a pet sitter available, should you want to go out somewhere without your dog, but do not want to leave him alone.
  • Inquire about any insect or ant poisons that the property may use in the rooms or on the grounds, which could be toxic to your dog.
  • Consider requesting a ground floor room, to make it easier for you and your dog to enter and exit.
  • Many hotels prohibit leaving a dog unattended in a room. And in any case, the hotel’s housekeeper will not be able to come in and clean your room if you leave your dog unattended. Inquire when your room is scheduled to be cleaned, and arrange for you and your dog to be out of the room when the maid arrives. The knock on the door may trigger a barking response in your dog that annoys other guests.
  • When you check into your room, first do a quick sweep of the room to make sure there are no dangers to your dog. Keep an eye out for any loose pills beneath the bed missed by the maid.
  • Once you do a sweep of the room, set out your dog’s bowls (give him fresh water right away, as he may have become dehydrated in the car ride), set out his toys, his bed if you brought that along—anything to make this strange environment seem like home. If he does have toys, play with him soon after you arrive to show him this strange room is a fun place, and you are not leaving him there alone.
  • If the noises your dog hears, such as people opening and closing their doors, cause your dog to become nervous, or bark excessively, you might turn on the TV or the radio to mask the hotel sounds until your dog become acclimated. Some reassuring words from you will help him, too.
  • Be sure to take your dog on more walks than usual, giving him every opportunity to “do his business.” The trip may have taken him out of his normal rhythm, and you want to avoid accidents in the room. Exercise will also result in a calmer dog.
  • Check out the hotel exits and if possible find a side or back stairway to take your dog out rather than having to go through the lobby each time. Keep him on a tight leash when you are on property to make sure he doesn’t jump on other guests, who may not be “dog lovers.”
  • Always clean up after your dog on the hotel grounds, even the parking lot.
  • If your dog sleeps on the bed with you, consider bringing a sheet from home to put over the hotel linens, so the hotel does not have to have the blanket and bedspread cleaned after your leave.